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Vibrant evaluating disposal of Blackgold unit, posts FY2019 net profit

VIBRANT Group is in discussions with "relevant parties" to evaluate the disposal of Chinese coal miner Blackgold International Holdings.

In its FY2019 results filing, the freight and logistics, real estate and financial services group said Blackgold is still unable to provide a complete set of financial statements for consolidation purposes.

A special audit report released by EY Advisory in January said Blackgold appears to have falsified accounts and grossly inflated sales figures since it was acquired by Vibrant in July 2017.

The report also noted that Blackgold's management may also have recorded fictitious mining fees from subcontractors prior to the acquisition, suggesting that the false accounts date back to when it was still listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

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Vibrant posted a net profit of S$13 million for the financial year ended Apr 30, 2019, swinging from a loss of S$93.1 million the year before. This was driven by a steep drop in other operating expenses due mainly to the absence of investment write-offs in Blackgold and on receivables from Blackgold as a result of the accounting irregularities.

Other operating expenses decreased 89.8 per cent to S$9.4 million from S$92.6 million a year ago.

Increased turnover also bolstered the group's earnings, with revenue rising 74.2 per cent to S$281.7 million. The increase in revenue was mainly due to the recognition of the revenue upon the completion of the Master-Riviera Project in China.

Revenue from the freight and logistics segment remained the main driver, contributing S$152.6 million or 54.2 per cent to total revenue. The segment recorded a net profit of S$5.1 million compared with S$1.3 million in FY2018.

Earnings per share was 0.81 Singapore cent, compared with a loss per share of 13.09 Singapore cents a year ago. A first and final dividend of 0.4 Singapore cent per ordinary share has been recommended.

Vibrant's shares closed at 13.5 Singapore cents on Thursday, down 0.1 cent or 0.74 per cent.